You’ll have to excuse the lack of pictures in this post. I spent most of the two days (which seemed to go by in about 26 seconds) I attended Scares That Care for running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Like most conventions I’ve attended, it was chaos. Beautiful, amazing, fun, wonderful, crazy, hectic, inspirational, creatively invigorating, glorious chaos. Scares That Care has become my all time favorite convention due to the amazing staff and attendees, the unique family atmosphere, the amazing guest list, the overall vibe, the outstanding job the hotel and their staff do at making everyone feel welcome, and the fact that the charity does really wonderful things for people who need it. These reasons, and more, make Scares That Care one of my very few can’t-miss events. If you haven’t attended, please consider doing so, or at least making a donation.
Friday began with a bit of chaos. My husband and I arrived at the hotel around 2:30 PM, sweaty and disgusting after spending a few hours at Busch Gardens (part of how I incentivized him to come with me…). We were hoping to check in to our room a little early so we could shower and I could change (become “Con Amber” as Kelli Owen puts it) but alas, that was not to be. Instead, we grabbed a bite from one of the quick serve stations the hotel sets up (And WOW do they do a bang up job!) and hung out in the lobby. I greeted so many of my amazing friends that I get to see all too rarely, like Mike Lombardo, John Boden, Matt Blazi (pictured below), Matt Hayward, Paul Goblirsch, and my amazing friend and mentor, Mary SanGiovanni.
Then it was off to the vendor room to help set up books! I was sharing a table once again with Jacob Haddon and Apokrupha. Jacob and his lovely wife are dear friends and it was wonderful getting to see them, even if things were a bit busy! We sold a lot of books, which is awesome, including a few advanced copies of my new novella, The Warblers! Right about then, we got our room keys, so I raced to shower and change, then became hopelessly lost in the hotel (It’s not really that complicated, I am just that much of a ditz!) and was thus a bit late for my first panel of the convention, which was on relationships and writing.
Later on that night, I recorded an episode of It Cooks! in front of an awesome audience full of great people. Then I dashed to the celebrity room to say hi to some wonderful people, including Joe R. Lansdale (who my husband has said was his favorite part of the convention), John Skipp, Wrath James White, Rachel Autumn Deering, Jonathan Janz, Paul Tremblay, and Ronald Malfi! I bought books, exchanged hugs, and thoroughly enjoyed myself before collapsing in exhaustion back in my hotel room.
Saturday I started the day by working out with Mary and Wrath. It was a great workout as well as my first real exercise (other than walking, which I do A LOT) since my surgery and I really enjoyed it! My husband and I took a quick dip in the pool to cool down before I headed back to the convention floor to do it all again!
I was on a really wonderful panel called 1987: 30 Years of Fears where the moderator and panelists discussed some of my all time favorite films including The Gate, The Lost Boys, and Street Trash! The panelists were wonderful and the discussion was great! I was ALMOST sad for it to end, except that immediately afterwards, I attended a truly fantastic workshop lead by Tom Monteleone (who I have looked up to since ever), his witty, charming daughter Olivia, and John Maclay. The session was a bit long (4 hours) but it practically flew by! I learned so much about ways to catch editors’ eyes, what readers are and are not looking for, how to look at your own work with a more critical eye and much, much more. It was time VERY well spent and one of the best workshops I’ve attended.
Saturday I dashed back and forth to the vendor room to sign copies of The Terminal and The Warblers for the lovely people who purchased them, as well as signature sheets for the upcoming Clickers Forever! anthology! The illustrations on these sheets are so beyond amazing!
Then it was off to attend a live recording of The Horror Show with Brian Keene, where myself and some other truly wonderful people who have been mentored by Brian were able to present him with a token of our gratitude. Then I had to literally run out the door to sit on my final panel of the event, on the topic of self publishing.
Throughout the weekend, I saw so many wonderful people, existing and new friends, people I’ve only known online, and many many more. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of them in the chaos and for that, I’m sorry, but it was really, really great to meet all of you! Including (but again, seriously not limited to!) Meghan Shena Hyden, Stephen Kozeniewski, Somer Canon and her awesome husband, CV Hunt, John Wayne Comunale, Nikki Graybeal, Bob Ford, Wes Southard, David Barbee (who I did actually forget in person, much to my great shame), Kyle Lybeck, Chris Enterline, Kristin Foster, Adam Cesare, Patrick Lacey, Pam Blazi, Amy Harris, and so many, many, many more!
Thank you to everyone who said hi, complimented my dress, shared stories or jokes with me, gave me candy (CANDY CORN M&MS?! YESSSS!!!!) or even just existed in the same space with me! I can’t wait for next year!